Ruth Fielding at Lighthouse Pointby Alice B. Emerson
The low, quavering notes of an organ sighed through the place. There was the rustle and movement of a crowd. To the neophyte, who had been brought
A brown dusk filled the long room, for although the windows were shrouded thickly and no lamp burned, some small ray of light percolated from without and made dimly visible the outlines of the company there gathered.
The low, quavering notes of an organ sighed through the place. There was the rustle and movement of a crowd. To the neophyte, who had been brought into the hall with eyes bandaged, it all seemed very mysterious and awe-inspiring.
Now she was set in a raised place and felt that before her was the company of masked and shrouded figures, in scarlet dominoes like those worn by the two guards who had brought her from the anteroom. The bandage was whisked from her eyes; but she could see nothing of her surroundings, nor of the company before which she stood.
"Candidate!" spoke a hollow, mysterious voice somewhere in the gloom, yet sounding so 2 close to her ear that she started. "Candidate! you stand before the membership body of the S. B.'s. You are as yet unknown to them and they unknown to you. If you enter the secret association of the S. B.'s you must throw off and despise forever all ties of a like character. Do you agree?"
The candidate obeyed, in so far as she prodded her sharply in the ribs and a shrill voice whispered: "Say you do-gump!"
The candidate obeyed, in so far as she proclaimed that she did, at least.
"It is an oath," went on the sepulchral voice. "Remember!"
In chorus the assembly immediately repeated, "Remember!" in solemn tones.
"Candidate!" repeated the leading voice, "you have been taught the leading object of our existence as a society. What is it?"
Without hesitation now, the candidate replied: "Helpfulness."
"It is right. And now, what do our initials stand for?"
"Sweetbriar," replied the shaking voice of the candidate.
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